Thursday 9 January 2014
Gardeners will create fields of gold in public spaces across UK this year to mark RHS Britain in Bloom’s 50th Anniversary
Half a million sunflower seeds will be sown by gardening groups all over Britain this year starting in National Gardening Week (14-21 April) to celebrate 50 golden years of Europe’s largest community gardening campaign: Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom.
In honour of this landmark anniversary ‘Growing for Gold’ is the 2014 theme of RHS Britain in Bloom. Many of the 300,000 volunteers who work year round to transform our towns, villages and cities, will be sowing a variety of pollinator-friendly sunflowers including the Giant Single, the Moonwalker, Taiyo and Vanilla Ice, all provided for free by the RHS.
RHS Community Horticulture Manager, Stephanie Eynon, said: “What better way to celebrate this huge anniversary for Britain than a mass planting of beautiful golden sunflowers. These gorgeous and uplifting plants have been known to grow an astonishing 20 feet high, which reflects the sort of spirit and drive we associate with RHS Britain in Bloom volunteers.
“We’re providing the seeds as a big ‘thank you’ to all the industrious and passionate people who work year-round to make the UK clean, green and beautiful. It is also a chance to do something big for the environment. As well as being symbolic of RHS Britain in Bloom’s 50th year, these glorious fields of gold will provide vital food for pollinators this summer.”
RHS community gardening groups, local councils, schools and other similar organisations will stage thousands of ‘Growing for Gold’ events during National Gardening Week meaning by summer-time our streets, neighbourhoods and green spaces will be sprinkled with gold.
The story of Britain in Bloom began in 1964 when the tourist board wanted a way to market the country through floral displays. Since the RHS took over as the organising body in 2001, the focus of the campaign has widened to include helping the environment, strengthening communities and inspiring more people to get involved.*
For information on how to take part visit: http://www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloomlaunch
For more information please contact Ed Horne on 020 7821 3356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
* Additional background information:
In 2006, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood, a non-competitive arm of Britain in Bloom, was born. Aimed at smaller groups, like resident and youth groups, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood is making community gardening more accessible and inclusive. Although only eight years old, there are already nearly 2,000 IYN groups in the UK.
RHS Britain in Bloom provides essential support and attracts additional funding to local communities. In total, two thirds of Bloom groups are volunteer-led, and last year they raised £15 million to help fund local projects.
In the face of increasing concerns about sustainability and the environment, 91% of groups have altered their activities by planting sustainably – for example by reducing the amount of bedding they use and increasing the use of pollinator-friendly plants.
Typical activities undertaken by RHS volunteers include transforming derelict land, planting up public spaces, clearing litter, removing graffiti, sowing wildflowers, holding workshops, growing fresh fruit and vegetables for their local community and much more. Collectively, they manage 5 million acres of public space – volunteer activity that saves the country many millions of pounds. For success stories, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/britaininbloom
About RHS Britain in Bloom
RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving more than 300,000 people. In 2014, the campaign celebrates its 50th anniversary as Britain’s favourite gardening campaign. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom – and its sister campaign, RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood – volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their local environment, using gardening as a tool.
To find out more, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/communities
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.
Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262